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Danger of Trans Fat for Women

Danger of Trans Fat for Women - One more reason why you should avoid foods that contain a high trans fat, especially if you are a woman and older in age. Recent studies have found that postmenopausal women who frequently eat fast food, baked goods and packaging products, has the potential to suffer stroke by 39 percent.

In his research, scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill also found that women who took aspirin on a regular basis tend to decrease the risk of stroke significantly. But the researchers stressed that the drug does not directly reduce the risk of stroke in women who frequently eat foods high in trans fats.

"This finding does not mean that you can eat trans fats by taking aspirin," said Dr. Ka He, who explained that the study only shows association and not a causal relationship between aspirin use and lower incidence of stroke.

"We recommend that reduce trans fat intake to prevent heart disease and stroke," said Ka He, who is also a professor of nutrition and epidemiology of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.

American Heart Association (AHA) noted, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and leading cause of disability among adults in the United States. Stroke occurs when an artery carrying blood to the brain is blocked, thus inhibiting the flow of blood and oxygen. As a result, brain cells begin to die. Stroke can affect motor skills, speech, or cognitive function, depending on which part of the brain are damaged.

Factors that can lead to stroke include obesity, smoking, hypertension and lack of exercise. Drinking too much alcohol, or not at all, is also associated with stroke risk.


These findings were published online on March 1, 2012 in the Annals of Neurology. Researchers analyzed data from a national project known as the Women Health Initiative. They monitor the intake of trans fats more than 87,000 women aged 50 to 79 years using dietary database developed at the University of Minnesota and a questionnaire that measures the consumption of trans fats.

Researchers asked about how many of the 122 types of food they consume in the three months before the study was conducted, with follow-up survey after three years later. Medical records are updated every year between 1998 and 2005, and as many as 1049 participants known to have suffered a stroke during that period.

Researchers revealed that trans fats contribute to the emergence of cardiovascular disease - a risk factor for stroke - by raising levels of bad cholesterol and lowers good cholesterol, and possibly the worst impact on the health of all types of fat.

"Trans fats do not occur naturally, but is usually acquired in processed foods as a result of the hydrogenation process of mixing of hydrogen in vegetable oils," explains Nancy Copperman, director of public health initiatives do North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Great Neck, NY

"It is interesting to note that women who consume high trans fats also have an unhealthy lifestyle behaviors such as low physical activity, overeating and smoking," says Copperman, who also added that they also have a higher risk of diabetes.

For this reason, Copperman has appealed to the women run balanced diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a major step in preventing stroke.

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, women's health expert of heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City said that trans fats as "toxic" and is a food that should not be eaten at all.
He also urged consumers to read food labels for trans fats are sometimes included in the low-fat diet.

"Just because it's called a low-fat diet, does not mean that the food is healthy," said Steinbaum.[kompas.com]

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